Withdrawal, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund - OPBD Procedure

To be read in conjunction with

Parts 2 and 4, Sections 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, of Te Kawa Maiorooro | Educational Regulatory Framework (TKM).  

 The relevant Te Pūkenga Academic Policies, current Otago Polytechnic policies (as per Te Pūkenga Transitioning (Grandparenting) of Former Subsidiaries Policy) and the relevant Otago Polytechnic Business Division Procedures.

Approval Date
9 June 2023
Approved By
Te Kāhui Manukura
Next Review
31 December 2024
Executive Director or delegate

To provide operational procedures that apply to the withdrawal and refund of compulsory fees, transfer to other programmes of study and cancellations at the Otago Polytechnic Business Division of Te Pūkenga.

  1. The rules for determining refunds, withdrawals, transfers, and cancellations are set out in the annually published Learner Rights and Responsibilities and the Terms and Conditions on the Otago Polytechnic Business Division (OPBD) website.
  2. Application for changes to an enrolment including, withdrawal, transfer, cancellation and/or refund should be made to Academic Registry or the College/Programme administration office and must be in writing from ākonga (an email or text (screenshot) is sufficient) and attached to the OPBD online Withdrawal, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund Form (able to be generated in EBS and populated with accurate learner enrolment data).
  3. Ākonga cannot be withdrawn from a programme of study/course(s) where the final assessment and/or the programme of study/course(s) end date has taken place and final results are due to be, or are, entered in the Student Management System (SMS).
  4. Compassionate (exceptional circumstances) withdrawals refer to TKM Withdrawal due to exceptional circumstances, Section 2.26.

4.1. Compassionate withdrawals must be signed by the Programme Head/Head of College/or equivalent and submitted to the OPBD Academic Registry by the Programme Head or delegate. Compassionate withdrawals may be approved for refunds outside normal refund criteria, or for withdrawals outside normal withdrawal criteria.

4.2. Compassionate grounds will not be considered sufficient for a refund of fees where ākonga could have continued in the programme of study/course(s) with support or where ākonga has chosen to withdraw for other reasons.

4.3. Applications for compassionate withdrawal made before the refund date will be processed as a withdrawal with a refund rather than a compassionate withdrawal.

4.4. All withdrawal applications on compassionate grounds should be made at the earliest possible time. After receipt of the application, Academic Registry may seek evidence from the Programme Head/Head of College/or equivalent as to whether compassionate withdrawal/refund is reasonable in the circumstances.

4.5. All withdrawal applications on compassionate grounds will be forwarded by the College to Academic Registry. 

4.5.a. Academic Registry will record the application in the Student Management System (SMS) and has delegated authority from the Executive Director/or equivalent to make decisions within defined process guidelines. 

4.5.b. Any cases that may be outside of standard operating guidelines will not be actioned by Academic Registry kaimahi but will be escalated to the Academic Registry Team Leader/or equivalent in the first instance. 

4.5.c. The Director: Learner Services/or equivalent or Director: Te Punaka Ōwheo (TPO)/or equivalent may be consulted if appropriate, and if a decision still cannot be met, the case will be escalated to the Deputy Chief Executive: Academic Delivery or in their absence Te Kaihāpai/or equivalent who has authority to decide on the outcome of a withdrawal application on compassionate grounds and the refund for ākonga.

4.6. Programme Head/Head of College/or equivalent does not have the delegation to make a decision regarding withdrawal applications on compassionate grounds.

4.7. The decision to refund fees on compassionate grounds will take into consideration ākonga circumstances, the length of time in a programme of study/course(s), including the last date for withdrawal, final assessment, and end of the programme of study/course(s).

4.7.a. A withdrawal application on compassionate grounds may be approved with no fee refund.

  1. Refunds – refer to TKM

5.1 Ākonga nō Aotearoa - Part 2D, Payment for provider-based learning, Section 2.15, Late enrolments, Section 2.27, Transfer of enrolment, Section 2.17; Part 2E No-show, Section 2.20, Withdrawal after 10 per cent of a course duration, Section 2.22

5.2 Ākonga nō tāwāhi – refer to TKM, Part 2F, Ākonga nō tāwāhi transfer and withdrawals.

5.3 Refund of External Examination Fees will be refunded if withdrawn prior to the cut-off for the examination. If examination fees have been sent to the examining body, a request for a refund must be made by ākonga directly to the appropriate organisation.

  1. Notification and Date of Withdrawal

6.1 – refer to Part 2A: Information, Section 2.1

6.2 Ākonga nō Aotearoa - Part 2C, Application acknowledgement and Offer of Place, Section 2.14(3) b. and c., 2.16 Late Enrolment, Section 2.16, Transfer of enrolment, Section 2.17(3) b., Part 2E, Provider-based learning withdrawals and refunds fro ākonga nō Aotearoa Sections 2.19 - 2.26.

6.3 Ākonga nō tāwāhi – refer to TKM, Part 2F, Application and Offer of Place, Section 2.29 Section Transfers and Withdrawals, Section 2.29.

6.4 The withdrawal date from a programme of study/course(s)/course occurrence(s) is taken and recorded in the SMS as the date ākonga notified OPBD in writing, of their intention to withdraw.

6.5. Otago Polytechnic Business Division has the discretion to process the withdrawal in the SMS at a date earlier than the notified withdrawal date in circumstances where this is justified or necessary to not disadvantage ākonga (for example where notification of withdrawal is delayed due to circumstances beyond ākonga control).

6.6. If ākonga is withdrawing from all courses within a programme of study and ākonga identification (ID) card has been issued it should be returned directly to OPSA or to the appropriate College staff member to return to OPSA.  

6.7. Visa change to permanent resident– refer to TKM Transfers and Withdrawals Section 2.29(10).

  1. Deferral – refer to TKM Part 2A, Information, Section 2.1(1) j.

7.1. Only one (1) deferral is allowed per ākonga to a maximum period of one (1) academic year.  A request for deferral of commencement of a programme of study/course(s) on or within the last date for a refund will be approved.

  1. Ākonga will be guaranteed a place in the next academic year intake and the fee for that year will apply. Fees will not be held over until the next academic year.
  2. Every effort will be made to guarantee a place in the next academic year or offer an alternative qualification and new fees will apply to the deferred enrolment.
  3. Change of Enrolment/Transfers – refer to TKM, Part 2D, Transfer of enrolment, Section 2.17

8.1. A new StudyLink loan will need to be drawn down by ākonga for the new programme of study/course(s). It is the responsibility of ākonga to contact StudyLink to advise of the change in the programme of study/course(s).  Studylink fees will be refunded to StudyLink.

8.2. Free Fees for the new programme of study/course(s) will be assessed by TEC to determine ākonga eligibility allocation and ākonga will be liable for any difference in fees.

8.3. Ākonga wishing to transfer from one (1) programme of study/course(s) to another outside the ten per cent (10%) delivery period window may do so by a negotiated agreement with the respective programme of study Programme Head/Head of College/or equivalent on a case-by-case basis.

8.4. Depending on the programme of study/course(s) stage of delivery any academic results entered cannot be changed and only a partial refund may be available.

8.5. It is not possible to transfer ākonga between calendar years.

  1. Cancellation of a Programme of Study/Course(s)/Course Occurrence(s) – refer to TKM Programme approval, changes and cancellation Section 2G 2.31.
  2. Disputes/Concerns or Complaints – refer to TKM Concerns and Complaints Section 5.5.
  3. Otago Polytechnic Business Division is unable to claim Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding for any ākonga who has never attended (or, in the case of online learning, never logged on), even if they have paid their fees.

11.1. If ākonga does not formally withdraw, OPBD will set their record to ‘Student Not Started (SNS) and refund any fees that have been paid (refer to sub-clause 20.2).

11.2. The record will be removed from the Single Data Return Equivalent Full Time Student (EFTS) claim.


 Te Pūkenga Policies


 Otago Polytechnic Business Division Policies and Procedures